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This Ski Airbag Can Save You from Serious Injury | The Tech Race

This Ski Airbag Can Save You from Serious Injury | The Tech Race


Welcome to The Tech Race. In the USA alone, researchers
estimate that roughly 600,000 people are
injured each year as a result of skiing and
snowboarding, showing need for a system that
protects and minimises injury. (SKI AIRBAG) Now a revolutionary airbag
system prevents skiers and snowboarders from getting hurt
whilst moving at high speeds. When this airbag system detects
that the athlete is about to fall, it activates an airbag
that protects the body from severe shock and injury. (FRANCE) (CHAVANOD) A company in the French Alps
has developed an intelligent ski airbag. Thanks to this system,
skiers are four times better protected than with
dorsal protection. A device on the back
of the vest is the brains of the system. It contains sensors that can
detect a skier’s loss of balance, anticipate a fall and
deploy in milliseconds. As soon as the system detects
a crash, it will inflate in less than
100 milliseconds to protect the skier at the ground impact. Once inflated, the airbag will protect chest, abdomen, neck, spine and hips. We did some tests that showed that all those zones are vital for the skier. The system will remain
activated and inflated during the crash and will then deflate
progressively. We did some tests that showed
that with an airbag a skier is more than four times
better protected than he is today with dorsal
protection. (SKI AIRBAG) (NECK PROTECTION) (CHEST PROTECTION)
(HIPS PROTECTION) (ABDOMEN PROTECTION) (BACK PROTECTOR) (INFLATOR)
(IN&MOTION SENSOR) Now the idea is to use this
technology platform for new applications where people are
injured in a fall, so, of course, skiing, races, leisure skiing and many other
sports we’re thinking about. The concept is based on three
steps. The first is detect. While the system reacts to
a loss of balance, the idea is to detect the type
of fall which leads to a crash. The second is protect. The airbag system is activated
in milliseconds to protect the skier’s body. The last is analysis. Transferring data from the gear
to better understand what caused the crash and verify if
the airbag activated at the proper time. This will enable engineers to
improve accuracy in the future. The difference between our
airbags and car airbags is the fact that we need to
inflate before the crash. When you are driving and you
hit another car, the system knows
that you’ve crashed, but on skiers there is
no protection, no bumper. If we wait for the skier to
crash on his back or on his torso, it’s too late. Secondly, we have to inflate
very fast but on the body. We can’t inflate too fast. It’s finding the right pressure
at the right speed. It’s a compromise.
The last point is energy. Cars have a battery
and an engine, but your body can’t be
plugged in. So we had to put the battery
and the sensors in a place where the skier will
not even think about it during the race and get the
best performance he can. The vest not only protects
the user, it also provides key data about
an athlete’s trajectory, speed and distance by connecting to
a mobile app once finished. This information can help
athletes reach full potential by analysing their runs
and jumps. With skiers reaching speeds of
over 200 km/h and heights of over 10 metres, runs can be
over in a matter of seconds. (THE WORLD RECORD LONGEST SKI
JUMP DISTANCE IS 251.5M) Acrobatic skiing champion
Jonathan Midol worked with the International Ski Federation in
the development of this device. (FREESTYLE SKI DEBUTED AS A
DEMONSTRATION SPORT IN THE WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES
CALGARY 1988) I feel like I’ve contributed to
the development of the ski airbag during the last two
seasons. The product is almost ready
for the public. We’ve been able to ski wearing
the in-motion vest. It’s clear that we travel
faster than 30 km/h. If my feet go above my waist,
the vest opens. This device is reducing
accidents in skiing. Where will this technology be
applied in the future? Three, two, one, go. (THE TECH RACE)

9 thoughts on “This Ski Airbag Can Save You from Serious Injury | The Tech Race”

  1. Why not just ski with the airbag always inflated? Detecting "losing balance" seems hard, especially when athletes spins and flips intentionally in the air.

  2. What's more embarrassing? Crashing and shattering your limbs with everyone watching – or crashing & shattering your limbs while you look like the Michelen Tire Man with everyone watching?

  3. most ski injuries are busted knees that happen when skis don't fly off from funky impacts. And in the real world where jumps are not smooth and standardized how is a system supposed to detect when I've actually lost balance and am about to crash, as opposed to spinning to make an off-angle landing?

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